TKoT Vol. 3: Chains of the Heart

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3: A Solid Save

Oliver concentrated on casting his next spell "Arcana: Summoning Ice Elemental." Arcane symbols circled his hands and a behind the hell hounds, out of the small cracks in the wall, water flowed to form a bulky liquidy form. Ice quickly hardened the water making the form resembling a tall humanoid. "Attack!" Oliver pointed at a hell hound. The Ice Elemental proceeded to swing the hardened icy fist into the side of an upset hell hound.

Oliver shouted his commands, "Andrea pull Charmeime back here! Clara free Tamin. John take Charmeime's spear USE IT!" Oliver might be quiet most of the time and soft-spoken. He was a leader, his tactics are sound and he often knew what he was getting into. This was an unexpected but pleasant event. The Hell Hound alpha was the target, killing this beast would upset the pack and take time for them to restructure. The alpha was the leader and without the leader, the pack would not be able to coordinate their attacks.

John quickly dropped his sword and grabbed up Charmeine's spear. After picking up the holy weapon he spoke a quick prayer to Toluene. "Toluene, lend me your strength." Asking a god to use a divine weapon such as Testament was always a wise thing to do. Weapons that are forged by the gods have a tendency to control their users, especially if they are not allowed to possess them. John then proceeded to impale the nearest hell hound. He found the spear very light and very accurate, the magic possessing the weapon guided his aim. The spear went directly into the skull of the demon beast.

Clara moved to remove the hell hound off of Tammon. "How come when I am in a battle with you; I always find you on the floor?" She smirked as the chilly blade went deep into the hell hounds side. Varriss added as he stabbed the same demon hound causing targeted even more pain, "I think he just likes to fight from the ground!"

Tammon pulled himself up, "Thanks!"

Andrea ran over to the bleeding mass of tan muscles. She reached around and down to grab his chest under his arms. Her silver hair draped across his chest. She was covered in clothing and gloves so contacting his flesh to start an accidental feeding would not happen.

"You are too weak to lift me! Save yourself!" Charmeine warned. He was very surprised as the petite woman easily lifted him and dragged him back away from the demonic howling hounds.

Andrea huffed as she dragged him, "Muscles, I got you don't worry. I am here to protect you!" Once again her heart began to race. Just being near him sent tingles up and down her spine. She could feel the mass of strong chest flesh, this excited her. The serpent's voice in her head wanted to feed on him. She smiled shaking her head, he was dreamy alright even covered in his own blood. Andrea leaned him against the wall and let him go,

Tammon was racing to catch up, "I got him." he moved over to the bleeding warrior. Tammon began reciting his healing prayers in order to stop Charmeine's bleeding.

Oliver watched the fight, directing his Ice Elemental to punch the next hell hound. Clara, Varriss, and John were now making quick work of the remaining hell hounds. The hell hounds could not retreat and they could not press forward. The alpha could not control or lead the pack in the attack. Oliver would deal with the alpha once the rest here was finished off.

Andrea took her eyes off the muscle-bound warrior and turned back to Oliver, "Master what now?"

He responded in his calm voice, "We wait, just watch. The various enchantments in use. Extreme cold and Holy Fire are good combinations to use against most demons."

The battle was over, the hell hound alpha was easily dispatched from inside its stone cage. Charmeine and Oliver thought it would be best to share the reward for this mission.

Andrea leaned against the wall of the tunnel studying John she recognized the old sign of his heraldry on his tattered vestments. "You are truly a Blackthorn?" she asked.

He looked back at her. "Yeah, one of the few surviving members of the old royal family and you're a Wellington," he said with a bit of spite. His father was hunted by the rebel noble families, the Wellingtons were very good hunters, a Thomas Wellington had killed his father. "Any relations to Thomas Wellington?"

Andrea was not sorry for what her family had done, she was not even born during the rebellion all those years ago. She only knew that her father was a young man during that time and had to choose a side, the rebels, or the nobles. He chose the rebels. "My grandfather, deceased. Well, we are both exiles now." She tapped her horns, "Blackthorn does not tolerate infernals very much." Andrea marched on back to the now standing Charmeime.

John thought to himself, well at least he does not have to kill that one. He will remove the noble from his list of names. His father left him a vengeance list, "Here son, this is a list of all the personal noble families that were considered trusted and that betrayed us. KILL THEM, KILL THEM ALL, EVERY LAST ONE OF THEM!" John had changed that list just to the family heads that participated in the overthrow, the children would not be included as they had nothing to do with the decisions at the time. In the twenty or so years since he had this list, he has only crossed out five of the thirty or so names off the list. This was not because he desires vengeance, they died because of the natural consequences of their actions. He had no intention of hunting down these people. He saw the whole rebellion as a way to get out of a corrupt power struggle as is. He was happier being free of royalty, who really wants to be King when the commoners blame you for failed crops.

Andrea asked Charmeime enthusiastically, "Do you need someone to hold you up?". She moved her hand to his bare bandaged chest, she wanted to touch him with her bare hand. She could feel the tight muscles bulging just beneath her gloved fingers.

He laughed, he had seen that look before on other women who desired him. "No, but thank you. I am sorry, but I am already spoken for."

She looked a bit saddened and put on a pouty face. "Are you sure?"

He soaked in the attention this infernal was giving him, "Yes. I am to be married in about a year's time, arranged marriage yes between two blooded families. She still has to reach the proper age yet."

Andrea asked, "Blooded?"

He smiled and proudly explained as he put his hand over his heart, "The blood of a god runs through my veins, our families enjoy keeping divine power in the family."

Andrea blushingly asked, "Can you be bedded by any Blooded?"

Charmeine said, "There are so very few Blooded, the gods don't go around just procreating. Most faiths limit the number of Pure Blooded born. These Pure Bloods are extremely powerful beings, they are Demigods in all rights often sharing the power of the god they were born from. Just imagine if the gods went and bred like rabbits. You would have --"

Before Charmeine could finish his answer they both heard Oliver snap, "Andrea, no touching."

Andrea quickly pulled back her hand from Muscles.

Charmeine looked at Oliver he was wondering why?

Andrea looked back and sighed, "Yes master." She heard a tone in his voice, something that is not usually there. She was right, she can get Oliver jealous. Charmeine is the key. She turned toward Charmeime and in a low voice almost whisper, "I am sorry." Then moved back to Oliver's side and whispered, "Is he not dreamy?". Andrea liked having Muscles walking in front of her on the trip back to the surface her eyes got to soak in all his sharp tight muscular build.

After the group returned to the Grindhouse Guild headquarters in the Political District of Cormanworth to complete the mission. Master Oliver, Andrea, Varriss, and Clara left for the Hidden Occult. This left Charmeine, John, and Tammon to drink the rest of the evening and celebrate their joint near-death experience.

"So what do you think of Miss Wellington?" Tammon asked as he was extremely happy about this mug of homebrew. A few hours ago he thought he would be hell hound food.
"She's strong that is for sure, she dragged my bleeding body a good thirty or so feet easily," Charmeine replied. "She is an infernal. Her tainted blood makes her stronger I am sure."
Tammon turned and eyed John, "And you?"
John liked this part the best, returning home alive and drinking with his friends. "Well her family went against mine, I can't really hold what her grandfather did against her. We had a rough time for a few years after the fall. A number of assassination attempts, then all the trouble just stopped. The Church of Bhuul had gained complete control of the remaining noble houses. They put an end to any rebellion in what they considered their territory. The bounties placed on my family was receded. We got on with our lives. I can not ever step into the kingdom again, but that is alright with me. I have been raised out here in Comanworth. There is something odd with her tail. She has to be lying about her being a first-generation Infernal unless her mother was really good at hiding at being a demon.
"Though it might also make sense, if the Church of Bhuul sniffed her out, as powerful as she could be. She would be a threat to the Church's influence. Andrea would be forced to flee, she is more than likely even embracing her dark side now that she has had her entire world turned upside down. That I can understand, the Blackthorns did some horrible things just to stay alive during those first few years.
Tammon finished his ale and looked up at Maddi the bartender in her revealing maid outfit. She was drying a mug and reading to hang the glass container upon its hook above the bar. She read his facial expressions even more quickly than he could ask, "Another?" Tammon quickly nods.
Maddi chimed in, "Talking about the new girl? Master Hoko has her working here in the afternoons. Just like me, he has her dress in these skimpy outfits. Though she gets to wear tights and an extra layer of clothing underneath. She scrubs the floors and does other cleaning jobs. She is nice enough, I get along with her."
Charmeine speaks, "Well there is something off about her, she has something in her that I feel when I am around her. I can't really place the feeling. My stomach gets upset, well not sick just uneasy. I feel like I either should be punching her or protecting her, I am not for sure."
Tammon's blows the froth off the top of the freshly poured ale. "I think it is that darkness she keeps pouting about. I wonder what hidden powers she might have?"
John laughingly says, "You really want to find out. Go kiss her. She may just drain you to a husk. Instead of giving you a blissful good time."
Charmeine shakes his head, "No. You don't want to see what that can do. I have seen the corpses, we all know there is a succubus that walks in this city. They should be hunted down and eliminated, they are just good at hiding. I am sure Master Oliver knows who they are."
Tammon got a bit more stern in his speech, "He does, he was captured by one last year. He knows all too well the danger, their touch is not as pleasant as you might think."
John finished his ale, "Well I am going to merge into my bed for a while. I am beaten, bruised, and tired. Good Night."
The group all decided they had had enough for today and headed to their respected homes.
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